Final passage of a gay marriage law in
Britain is expected to take place before the end of this week.
Members of parliament's lower House of
Commons were expected on Tuesday evening to debate amendments
approved in the upper chamber, the House of Lords. Officials said
that they expect the bill to clear the chamber and receive royal
assent from Queen Elizabeth II on Wednesday or Thursday.
“But we are looking at seeing the
first gay weddings in the middle of 2014 because there are various
issues to sort out, such as its impact on pensions,” a spokesman
for the culture ministry, which is overseeing the new law, told the
Opponents warned that the issue would
haunt the ruling Conservative Party in the general election.
The Coalition for Marriage said passage
will “come back to bite” Prime Minister David Cameron in 2015.
Jubilant supporters said passage would
provide momentum for similar proposals in the United Kingdom's other
two nations, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
According to a YouGov poll for the
Sunday Times, 54 percent of Britons favor marriage equality.
Fourteen nations, including 9 European
countries, allow gay couples to marry, the latest being France. Gay
couples can also marry in some regions of the United States, Mexico
and Brazil. A
judge in Colombia has paved the way for that nation's first same-sex